By Philippa Burne, UK, May 2012

4 star rating: Recommended 8 Reviews | Add your review

In the 12th and 13th centuries Coimbra was the capital of Portugal; these days it’s a huge university town attracting students from around the world. The reasons to visit are its deep history and/or its lively student culture. Coimbra is poised on a hill next to the river Mondego. The university perches on top of the hill and it’s a lovely walk up the zig-zagging narrow streets to get to the campus’s mix of historic and modern buildings. This is the Portuguese-speaking world’s oldest university and one of the oldest of the whole world. The library, the Biblioteca Joanina is an early 18th century building with a wonderful sculpted interior in gold and wood, definitely worth seeing. The chapel also has a lavish interior as do many of the other historic buildings on campus which contain important paintings and sculptures.

Editor's Note: This recommendation was taken from our Portugal Things To Do blog. Visit the original post to continue reading and to learn about more things to do in Portugal.

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Dumas via Flickr.

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